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 - Jason Hess

Hello and welcome to the latest installment of Houston Wrestling here at Kayfabe Memories.  As I read about this business, one phrase keeps slashing to the forefront of my mind….”Never say never.”  Just this year, we have seen the return of three men to the WWF who left on less than stellar terms.  Just this summer we have seen perhaps the most surreal moment in wrestling history with Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff “hugging” at the top of the Raw entrance ramp.  Truly, for this author, I can “never” say never in looking at where wrestling is going, and where it has gone.     

In this edition of Houston Wrestling memories, we will take a look at a “never say never” situation, with a look at what could be called the last year of “Boesch-based” Houston Wrestling history as we examine 1988.  1988 would see the return of Paul Boesch promoting cards in Houston.  Seemingly, happy days were here again…..or were they? 


Last month, we took a look at one of the most controversial years in Houston Wrestling history, 1987.  That year changed everything for longtime fans of Houston Wrestling.  At the start of the year, it was status quo with the stars of the UWF, but by the end of the year, it was anything but status quo.  Paul Boesch had retired, and seemingly, the “good old days” were gone forever due to the involvement of the WWF.  While crowds at the Coliseum were fairly strong for the WWF, needless to say, the atmosphere was very different.  

Winter:  The WWF was shaping up for a shake-up.  1987 was a booming success in large part to the heel turn of Andre The Giant, and his subsequent match at WrestleMania 3 against Hulk Hogan.  Their match, and their angle after Survivor Series looked to loom large into 1988.  After the contract signing angle at the January 1988 Royal Rumble, anticipation was building to the February prime time NBC “Main Event.”  As most readers, know, the shake-up was Andre beating Hogan only to give the title to Ted DiBiase….because DiBiase had bought the belt.  The angle that saw DiBiase chase Hogan’s WWF title actually began in Houston, as Hogan’s first match against DiBiase was at the Coliseum.   

In Houston, there was a shake-up of sorts as well.  While Coliseum cards were doing decent, there began to be more and more time in between each card.  Back in 1988, it wasn’t uncommon for the WWF to run a town every other month, to once every three months.  But for fans in Houston, who were used to weekly or bi-monthly action, the wait was often grueling.  What we didn’t know was that Paul Boesch was planning to come out of retirement…but not to promote the WWF. 

Spring:  While the WWF was gearing up for WrestleMania, Jim Crockett Promotions was well, just gearing up for survival.  After purchasing and subsequently squandering a great interpromotional angle with the UWF, Crockett started to lose money, most specifically at Starrcade 1987 with pay per view money.  In his mind, and in the mind of booker Dusty Rhodes, it was time to pull out any and all stops to get fan attention.  Popular Houston and Mid-Atlantic/JCP star Magnum T.A., who had been in and out of storyline action since April 1987, was attacked at the TBS studios by Tully Blanchard after the two had been “speaking” about certain things.  Even J.J. Dillon tried to pull Tully off of Magnum. 

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